Governing and measuring the performance of IT can be a challenge: it’s often easy to jump into the weeds and produce values like numbers of help tickets addressed or patches deployed, but demonstrating value to governance is another thing, especially when they may not have a full appreciation for what or how those activities occur.

I have often said that the most successfully IT manager is the one whose name nobody knows – if people know it, it’s often for all the wrong reasons… the network has gone down, malware has afflicted one or more systems, or that critical service/application has suddenly stopped responding.  Of course, that’s not what you want to be true for your governance – your VPs, other executives, and board.

In order for IT to function successfully and be a respected peer within the operation, it must operate like all of the other functions within the business… it must demonstrate business value, it must have a positive ROI (or equivalent), and it must demonstrate that the resources allocated to it are achieving the function’s established purposes and supporting the business mission.   The easy part is saying it does.  The hard part is proving it.

Take a look at the table, and as you look at your own IT function, ask yourself how well you can answer these types of questions.  If you cannot, why not?  Consider what metrics you can use to demonstrate that IT has value… especially to a group of people who may not appreciate the technical elements of the function.